RANDOLPH (CBS) — One of President Joe Biden’s gifts to Russian President Vladimir Putin at their landmark Swiss summit on Wednesday was made right here in Massachusetts. The White House said Biden gave Putin “a pair of custom Aviators made by Randolph USA.”
“The phone started going off the hook, social media was going crazy,” Randolph USA CEO Peter Waszkiewicz said. “We knew then that OK something happened.”READ MORE: Brigham & Women's Virtual Prostate Cancer Clinic Offers Patients Convenience & Efficiency
Biden is known for wearing the Aviator-style sunglasses. Waszkiewicz said the style gifted to Putin is called the Concorde.
Waszkiewicz knows their product is worthy of the world stage. He feels tremendous pride for the legacy founded by Polish immigrants: his dad Jan and partner Stanley Zaleski.
“They heard a lot of good things about America and so they came to America and pursued an American dream,” Waszkiewicz said.READ MORE: Garth Brooks To Assess Status Of 2021 Tour Dates, Including Gillette Stadium, Due To COVID Concerns
The company opened its Randolph factory in 1973. Over half a century, technology has changed Randolph’s work – but certainly not the quality. Each pair takes six weeks and about 200 steps to make.
Today, their sunglasses are sold globally, and they’ve been manufacturing for the US military for more than four decades. The company is still owned and operated by the two families who started it – working together.
“To have something like this happen it just puts a smile on all our faces,” Waszkiewicz. “It’s an honor and we are super excited about it.”
Biden also gave Putin a crystal sculpture of an American bison by Steuben Glass of New York.MORE NEWS: Massachusetts Reports 883 New COVID-19 Cases, 2 Additional Deaths
The two presidents met in Geneva, Switzerland for the first time since Biden took office. Putin told reporters that the hours-long meeting was “constructive.” Biden said “I did what I came to do” and stressed the need for the two nuclear powers to have a stable relationship.